No Wonder Medical Bills Are Chief Cause for Bankruptcy
Research tells us that the biggest cause for personal bankruptcies are medical expenses. According to a new study from Johns Hopkins University, it’s easy to see why. Their research showed that, on average, hospitals markup their charges by more than 20%.
Hidden Price Gouging?
One of the more troubling aspects of the study was the revelation that hospitals – both private and nonprofit – showed a tendency to look for sneaky ways to jack up prices in underhanded ways so that patients have a more difficult time in noticing it. Lead researcher Ge Bai said, “Hospitals apparently markup higher departments with more complex services because it is more difficult for patients to compare prices in these departments.” Popular areas for hiding extra charges include CT scans, anesthesiology, MRIs, electrocardiology, etc. For example, while a CT scan may cost a hospital about $100, the patient is quite often stiffed with a bill in the $2,800 range.
How the Study Was Done
Researchers based their findings on data from Medicare and nearly 2,500 hospitals in the U.S. The data revealed, for example, that a hospital with more than 50 beds had an overall charge-to-cost ratio of 4.32; meaning that for every $1 of their own costs, they charged $4.32.
What Can Be Done?
Hardly anyone is spared by the exorbitant price hikes from hospitals; they affect everyone from uninsured and insured patients, casualty and workers’ compensation insurers, and auto insurers. “There’s no regulation that prohibits hospitals from increasing revenues,” Bai continued. “The problem is when they raise rates on people who have no ability to say ‘no’ because they are experiencing an emergency and they don’t have bargaining power against the hospitals.”
Call The Oswalt Law Group for Options on How to Best Deal With Crippling Debt
Based upon the findings above, there’s little wonder why a trip to the hospital can immediately wreak havoc upon a person’s financial status. If you’re living with crippling debt and are trying to find a way out, you do have options. Call The Oswalt Law Group for a free consultation; our number is (602) 225-2222.